LONDON - Chelsea striker Diego Costa will miss his side's top-of-the-table Premier League clash against Manchester City after losing his appeal against a charge of violent conduct, the English Football Association said on Friday.
The Brazilian-born Spain striker has been banned for three matches after treading down on Liverpool's Emre Can in the first half of the League Cup semi-final, second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Chelsea, who are five points clear at the top of the table, will be without Costa for Saturday's clash against Manchester City as well as games at Aston Villa and home to Everton.
Costa, who signed from Atletico Madrid last year, has scored 17 league goals for Chelsea with his combative approach ideally suited to the high tempo of English football.
But the 26-year-old's physicality has ruffled a few feathers and he is not one to back down from confrontation with opponents.
After Chelsea booked their place in the League Cup final thanks to a 2-1 aggregate victory over Liverpool, boss Jose Mourinho was adamant that Costa's reputation was being tarnished by TV pundits.
"I don't know what you understand by stamp. I think you are already influenced by -- there is a campaign by a certain pundit that talks about Diego Costa's crimes," Mourinho told reporters.
"What (broadcaster) Sky calls crime, it's absolutely accidental.
"When you are there and you are paid and you are very well paid -- these guys they have a very good seat, they are always right and they always win but they should be honest."